The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: dancing boys process into village, head receiving dance
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Punkhung
date: 5.3.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 12.2.1937-31.3.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: Here I hand over the piece of Pangsha head to the Ang who divides it between the three morungs. Now dancing the boys move up to the village. On one ridge from where it goes steeply down to the fields on all sides I let them throw their spears and photograph them in that movement
text: At first they dance in front of the lower morung
text: Later at night they come to the Ang's house from their morung with long torches of reed bundles. Here they now dance in several groups while a big fire has been lit in the middle of the place. (140) The torches and this flaming flickering fire are lighting up the dancers but neither the dance nor the singing are successful. The old men are trying in vain to show the boys how to do it. They always lose their rhythm and there is no sign of the usually observed exactness. Chingai is heartily laughing about the confusion. Still this dance by torchlight is a spectacular affair. The entire village has gathered here in front of the Ang's house. Men and youths and even the smallest boys are dancing. The women and girls as well as the very old men are watching. The dance only finishes after 10 o'clock.